When I was working on the earlier version of the possible third book and trying to determine what exactly was forbidden in YA literature these days, Dawn commented that anything goes, except cannibalism and bestiality. And Marci insisted that hangings were gross.
Well, in my new this is it third book, The World We Live In (aka WWLI), there won't be any bestiality. I promise. But hangings and cannibalism are starting to entice me.
I will now proclaim my three favorite words: Not my fault. I'm reading White Cargo by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, a history of indentured servitude in the colonies (and for all I know, after the Revolution; I'm only on page 113 and we're still knee deep in the seventeenth century), and I gotta say there is nothing, nothing I can imagine that would be worse than what people lived through then. It makes me glad my ancestors only had to deal with pogroms. So far there haven't been that many hangings (people seem to have gotten beaten to death instead, which presumably Marci wouldn't find gross), but there's this lovely bit on cannibalism. People were so hungry they opened coffins to remove the bodies for dinner, and one guy murdered his wife and "chopped her in pieces and salted her for his food." He was hung by his thumbs until he confessed and then executed.
So I'm thinking what gets Luke moving is the impending hanging of the old man (who I'm going to have to name, although I like calling him the old man). And I'm also thinking that Luke, in his day, did a bit of grave robbing. I mean, it's better than chopping up one's wife and salting her. Salt really is bad for your blood pressure.
I am in such a good mood.
As WWLI is currently constituted, there'll be alternating sections for Luke and Eden (her name is absolutely inarguably Eden, and most likely Eden Gregg). Luke's sections have always been planned as third person, same as Alex's in the dead and the gone, but I'd been thinking that Eden might keep a diary for hers. I've pretty much decided against that, because I'm not sure I could give Eden a voice different from Miranda's in Life As We Knew It. So the current plan is third person subjective for both characters.
Luke's friend, the one he's going to travel with (how far, I don't know, because I haven't decided where Luke's journey begins) is currently named Will, but that may change. As of the moment, Will is gallant. I don't think there's a single gallant character in LAWKI or d&g. And what's particularly important to me is that Will be nothing like Alex's friend Kevin in d&g. I loved Kevin, who had some very sweet moments, but definitely wasn't gallant. Luke, who's had to survive on his own for longer than Will, is bemused by the latter's gallantry (now that's a high class sentence. Don't expect to see another one like that for a while). And Will, who doesn't even exist and already I'm killing him off, will die gallantly, kind of Ronald Colmanesque (not that Ronald Colman always died in his movies, but he was invariably gallant).
As you can see, my little brain is just popping along with WWLI. I need to make sure the Eden sections are as dramatic (if not as action packed) as the Luke sections, and that gets me into the tricky does Miranda really fit in bog. For example (and because in some ways I've been plotting WWLI like the second part of Wuthering Heights), I've been thinking maybe there's a sickly teenage boy from a wealthy family that would like Eden to marry him so he can have a child before he dies. But we've got to believe that Eden believes that Miranda would allow such a thing. Also, if the Eden section starts with that, then the part with the askabouts (which Luke interrupts) could be anticlimactic. So much needs to be worked out, but that's the fun part.
On an entirely different, but very practical note, I'll be picking up more Always Have Hope stickers tomorrow, and going to the post office to mail some of them and some Never Lose Faith stickers to a bookstore in Ireland. So if anyone out there wants some, e-mail me before tomorrow morning, and off they'll go.
I told the woman at the printer's that I was sending some to Ireland and she was very impressed. So am I!